Photographs of our loved ones past and present are one of the most precious things we have. Lose that special photo and you lose much of the memory that goes with it. Listen to someone talking about being burgled, having a handbag stolen, a house fire or flood and often it is not the loss of cash that hits them hardest but the loss of memories in the form of photos and keepsakes.
In the days when photos required film people rarely thought about keeping a back up. Prints were reasonably permanent and had little value to others. Even if you did damage one that was special to you there was usually the negative to fall back on. Indeed it was while forraging through fourty years of negatives for something that I was reminded of how we simply took this for granted.
Photography has left a rich and wonderful heritage to the current generation in terms of images from the past. Forgotten memories and long dead generations are brought to life by the chance discovery of some faded dog eared image. Will future generations be able to look back and remember us though? Will even we have anything to remember these years in the future?
Digital photographs are so easy to lose
The snag is the very digital revolution that allows us to take photographs so easily. We take photos more than ever before. On out phones or with the wonderful digital compacts now available. How many of us make sure to save those images for the future however?
All too often photographs get left on phone until the phone itself is lost, damaged, or simply discarded. Even if saved to the computer there is no guarantee they will make it to the new one when it becomes obsolete. Prints off typical cheap printers simply do not have the quality to survive any time and a lot of images that seem fine on the computer screen are simply too small to print out any size.
Supposing your computer died tomorrow, have you got everything you want to keep backed up to CD/DVD or a spare external drive? And if you have do you think to check they are still ok? Some cheaper CD’s can start failing after just a few years. Even if they do survive will the technology to view them do so. Remember Zip drives and floppy disks anyone!
So if you want to be remembered by future generations, or even remember some good times yourself start saving those images now! Burn them to high quality CD’s or DVD’s Invest in a cheap portable drive and save them to that too. Finally decide on the ones that are precious to you and get them properly printed on traditional photographic paper or using a high quality printer and archival paper.
Don’t leave it too late. Nothing is worse that that sinking feeling when you realise that lovely photo you had of your child when they were little or a departed friend was on the computer that was dumped a few years ago